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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 6

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Expert
14th April, 2021
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After a week where rugby league proved once again it’s a sport without certainties, The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel are back for Round 6 to tell you which teams are taking home the spoils this weekend.

Ahead of last week, there were only two differences across the entire panel, and Roarers far and wide were virtually unanimous in their views as well.

But didn’t that blow up in our faces?

Manly beat the Warriors, the Cowboys beat the Tigers and maybe most shockingly, a majority favourite for the bottom four just a month ago, the Dragons got one over the heavily-favoured Eels.

It meant the panel were all virtually even, with the exception of my tip for the Sharks and AJ’s for the Raiders, but even didn’t mean good, with everyone else getting five, AJ and myself just the four.

What that all means is The Barry has become the outright clubhouse leader, one ahead of The Crowd and myself. David sits another one back, Mary two behind David and AJ still bringing up the rear, six tips behind The Barry.

Looking ahead to Round 6, and the fixtures make you think on the surface we are going to have a round we were supposed to have last weekend, with eight pretty clear favourites.

The Broncos and Panthers, Storm and Roosters, Sea Eagles and Titans, Rabbitohs and Tigers, Dragons and Warriors, and the Cowboys up against the Bulldogs in Townsville all seem to be one-way traffic, with the other two games featuring the Sharks, fresh off John Morris being sacked travelling to Newcastle, and the Raiders playing the Eels in the nation’s capital on Saturday.

Remember to get your tips into the form below by 6pm (AEDT) on Sunday to join The Roar’s NRL tipping competition for 2021 and be featured as part of the Crowd’s tips for Round 6.

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Let’s get into it and find out if the experts have any contrasting views. Overall leader The Barry will lead us off again.

The Barry

Tips: Panthers, Knights, Storm, Titans, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Dragons, Cowboys

I’m going to take at least partial credit for Round 5’s upsets. It was fait accompli as soon as I compared tipping to “shooting fish in a barrel”. Having said that it’s not that long ago that five from eight was an ok week as opposed to a season low.

The first game of the round has the Panthers as $1.03 favourites. Sounds about right.

Jarome Luai of the Panthers passes the ball

Penrith. So hawt right now. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Knights v Sharks is the toughest game to pick. Knights were dire last week while the Sharks lost the unloseable. I’m going with the bounce back factor here. Surely the Knights pack can’t get rolled like that two weeks running.

Last week’s ‘game of the season’ ended up a bit of a fizzer, so hopefully this week’s version is better. If life’s taught me anything it’s that things tend not to work out too well when you’re relying on a seventh choice hooker. Storm.

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Unfortunately Dylan Walker’s hamstring has put paid to the rumours that Des was going to pick Tom Trbojevic at centre on his return. Despite Turbo’s presence, the Titans will be way too strong through the middle for Manly.

It’ll be a bigger upset than 1969 for the Tigers to beat Souths.

Raiders and Eels stocks have dropped a bit over the past couple of weeks. This is a tough one but Raiders at home.

The St George-Illawarra Broncos tough draw to start the season continues against the Central Coast Warriors. Dragons are playing tough footy while the Warriors are starting to look a bit frayed.

Cowboys. Crying emoji.

Mary Konstantopoulos

Tips: Panthers, Sharks, Storm, Titans, Rabbitohs, Eels, Dragons, Cowboys

It would take nothing short of a miracle for the Broncos to beat the Panthers this week. The Panthers are running high on confidence after dismantling the Raiders last week and the Broncos have some serious challenges with their halves.

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No Anthony Milford but Brodie Croft and Tom Dearden are not the answer. I have not seen much from the Broncos that suggests that they want to do anything other than score points the easy way and there is no easy way against the Panthers.

I’m tipping the Sharks here, because given the week the team has had, I’m expecting them to rally under adversity. The real unknown for the Sharks going forward will be how the departure of John Morris impacts their season.

The Knights welcome back a number of key players in attack this week including Bradman Best, but I’m still not confident with a halves pairing of Kurt Mann and Blake Green.

The next game is game of the round. I’m tipping the Storm but only because I have been burned before tipping against the Storm at home. Given the Roosters injury woes, the team should not be performing as well as they are, but that is the mark of a quality side.

Can Sam Walker produce two outstanding performances two weeks in a row? It’s a big ask for a teenager and there is no better test than against a team like Melbourne.

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The Titans should have no trouble dismantling the Sea Eagles.

I’m tipping with my heart and picking Parramatta against the Raiders (even with the Eels missing Dylan Brown). Fingers crossed the loss against the Dragons will give the Eels the kick up the backside they needed.

The Raiders have also lost Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Ryan James for this game, both significant losses. I expect the Eels to target Caleb Aitkins in that fullback spot.

After the diabolical performance we saw from the Tigers last week, I am expecting a big win by the Bunnies on Saturday. The Rabbitohs are one of the top teams in the competition and the Tigers ‘arm-grabbing’ attempts at tackles will be ineffective against the likes of Damien Cook, Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell.

The Dragons are on a roll and will continue on that roll against the Warriors and in the spoon-bowl, I’m tipping the Cowboys (even thought the Dogs surely have to get a win soon… Don’t they?).

David Holden

Tips: Panthers, Knights, Storm, Titans, Rabbits, Raiders, Dragons, Cowboys

Footy tipping is sometimes a bit of a reflection of life in general. I tend to play the percentages outside of The Roar and so it showed in my tipping, picking all the favourites last weekend.

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Scott took a bit of a gamble, without thinking of the famous Sharks collapses that haunt Cronulla supporters. He will learn. And, well, AJ picked the Raiders again. You’ve got to admire his blind support but I do question his sanity.

The end result of all that was I retain my position in midfield, moving a little closer to Scott and a bit further away from AJ. So, here goes for another week.

The Broncos are paying $13.00 in a two-horse race against Penrith. They may as well be paying $1,000. Anthony Milford or no Anthony Milford, the Broncos will get pumped. This will get ugly.

First up on Friday night we get a difficult one. The Knights do get a couple of players trickling back in whilst its hard to tell what impact the coaching saga will have on the Sharks. I was filthy with them losing last week and have resolved not to tip them again until they play the Bulldogs which, ironically, is Round 7. Newcastle at home.

We then get one of the matches of the round with the Storm and the Roosters. The Storm will target Sam Walker and are likely to be able to sustain the pressure, unlike my team. Melbourne will win at home.

We head out to wine country for the first match on Saturday afternoon. Tommy Turbo is back, but he would need to be godly to guide his team to a win against the Titans. In the words of Monty Python, “he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”. The Titans will continue to impress.

Life’s tough as a Sharks fan, but it must be soul destroying to follow the Tigers. They had everything to play for against the Cowboys, but they rocked up thinking about post match beers. The effort will be there against the Rabbits, but the result will be the same.

The Eels had eased through the first few rounds before running into an improved Dragons outfit. I’’m not sold on them. This will be a classic battle of the middles but I’m tipping the Raiders to win at home on a very cold Canberra night.

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Sia Soliola runs the ball for the Canberra Raiders

Sia Soliola. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

For the Dragons to be the real deal, they need to back up this Sunday and beat the Warriors. I said at the start of the season that it would be difficult for the Warriors to back up the heroics of last season and we are beginning to see that. St George to win five in a row.

And finally, on Sunday afternoon, Channel 9 has scored a blockbuster between the Cowboys and Bulldogs. The Cowboys charged ahead on Sunday before remembering they were rubbish. They got awfully close to losing but they won. This should give them some confidence and they should beat Canterbury-Bankstown.

AJ Mithen

Tips: Panthers, Sharks, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Dragons, Bulldogs

Last week was supposed to be the simple one. I missed a chance to catch up because I was cowardly and went with the crowd. No more! I will tip with my courage and launch back to the top where I belong. Hence it shall be…

The arrogant Panthers over the pathetic Broncos.

The caretakered Sharks over the hollow Knights.

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The Storm over the Roosters in the battle of the silver spoons.

The surprising Manly over the still unpredictable Titans.

Wayne over Madge.

Your beautiful premiership favourite Canberra Raiders by at least 56 over the wobbly Eels.

Hook’s Dragons over the again untippable Warriors.

Bulldogs over Cowboys in the best of the worst.

Scott Pryde

Tips: Panthers, Knights, Storm, Titans, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Dragons, Cowboys

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Well, if last week taught us anything, it’s that upsets will happen when you least expect them.

And yet, with the exception of those two games which are expected to be close, it’s hard to see any of the real outsiders getting up.

Addressing those other two games first, and the Knights are at home against a Sharks team who have been through the wars off the park this week.

Now, normally, losing a coach can kick a team to life, but John Morris wasn’t going terribly, nor had he lost the dressing room according to Shaun Johnson. The Knights are desperate for a win and should get up here.

John Morris, Cronulla Sharks coach

John Morris (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Raiders and Eels is an intriguing battle. Parramatta without Dylan Brown, the inconsistent Canberra without Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. It’s in Canberra though. The weather is getting colder. Give me the green machine.

The rest looks like a cakewalk. Penrith to put 50 on Brisbane at home, and the Storm to edge the Roosters who are missing everyone in what would otherwise be the match of the round. Ryan Papenhuyzen could probably beat them on his own the way he is playing.

The Sea Eagles won last week, but it wasn’t that convincing and they will go down to the Titans who, despite their inconsistency, have put up some good footy.

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South Sydney while romp home against the Tigers, and the Dragons should beat the Warriors too to make it five on the bounce, something no one though was possible in the pre-season.

The last game… I mean, who cares? It’s in Townsville though, so Cowboys to beat the hapless Bulldogs.

Round 6 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
BRI v PEN PEN PEN PEN PEN PEN PEN
NEW v CRO CRO CRO NEW NEW NEW NEW
MEL v SYD MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL
MAN v GCT MAN GLD GLD GLD GLD GLD
SOU v WST SOU SOU SOU SOU SOU SOU
CAN v PAR CAN PAR CAN CAN CAN CAN
STI v NZL STI STI STI STI STI STI
NQL v CBY CBY NQL NQL NQL NQL NQL
Last week 4 5 5 5 4 5
Total 24 26 28 30 29 29

Remember to get your tips in on the form below by 6pm tonight to be counted as part of The Crowd for this weekend.

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